PETALING JAYA: Malaysia remains at No 22 in the IMD World Competitive Yearbook (WCY) 2019 which rates the competitiveness of countries around the world.
Among the 63 countries listed this year by the IMD World Competitiveness Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland, Malaysia scored 82.54 out of 100 points.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking said while Malaysia was ranked 24th in 2017, the country has managed to retain its 22nd position for a second year.
He said it reflected the positive sentiments of the business community towards the new government.
"It's interesting to note that the report showed improvement in institutional related indicators such as bribery and corruption, transparency, bureaucracy, justice, social cohesion and public finance in terms of rankings and value scored compared to the previous year.
"All these indicators increased in value score by more than 10% (ranging between 10.8% in public finances to 31.1% in bribery and corruption)," he said in a statement.
He added that Malaysia was ahead of countries like Belgium (27th), Korea (28th) and Japan (30th).
According to Leiking, the challenging external environment in 2018 had somewhat affected the competitiveness of smaller economies, with Malaysia not being spared.
"Incidents which includes the shutdown in the United States federal government, as well as the uncertainties in its monetary policies, the slowdown in China's economic growth and the ongoing trade tension between the US and China also affected global economy and thus the nation's economy," he said.
Leiking added that Malaysia needed to move from an input-driven to productivity-driven growth to achieve sustainable economic expansion in line with the initiatives outlined in the Malaysia Productivity Blueprint (MPB).
The MPB has five thrusts, namely building workforce of the future, driving digitalisation and innovation, making industry accountable for productivity, forging a robust ecosystem, and securing a strong implementation mechanism.
"I believe Malaysia's economic indicators are improving, and through the implementation of key reforms, Malaysia will prosper in this competitive race," he said.